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Decommissioning Challenges Escalating in South East Asia

For many decades now, South East Asia has been an important oil and gas producer, accounting for five percent of current global oil production. But now, age has caught up with oil and gas infrastructure in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia. In February 2018 the Jakarta Post estimated that over the next decade, […]

A Conversation With US Ambassador Scot Marciel

On March 8, The Irrawaddy’s editorial team invited US Ambassador Scot Marciel to our office in Yangon to participate in a conversation on a range of issues, particularly the many challenges Myanmar is facing. The ambassador offered his frank views in response to questions from senior editors. Here are excerpts from the interview: The Irrawaddy: […]

Myanmar’s stalled China-backed Myitsone dam project strained bilateral ties for years — now it could be scaled back or moved

A top Myanmar investment official on Tuesday suggested scaling back or relocating a stalled Chinese-backed hydropower project that has strained ties between the neighbours for nearly a decade. The suggestion follows a statement by the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar earlier this month that said civil society organisations in Kachin state supported the planned project. Hundreds […]

New dry port expected to cut transport costs in Mandalay

The first dry port in Mandalay Region to transport goods by container has opened in Myitnge, Amarapura township, making the movement of products to and from the city easier and cheaper, according to Transport and Communications Minister U Thant Sin Maung. “We have been left behind for 30 years in carrying goods by containers. Only […]

Illicit imports threaten Myanmar’s e-commerce players

The commerce ministry committed to developing the country’s nascent e-commerce sector as a means to boost trade and create jobs, but the lack of infrastructure and rampant illicit trade pose a serious threat to the emerging industry. The report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) titled “Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessment of […]

First Tourists Arrive on New Free-Visa System, 21 Western Countries to be Added

As an initial phase of implementing its new tourism strategy, the tourism ministry launched a free-visa system for tourists from Japan, South Korean and China’s Hong Kong and Macau on Monday. The move is likely to be followed in the coming years by the lifting of visa requirements for citizens of another 21 countries—especially western […]

Anti-corruption drive dodges political donations and criminal liability

Nay Pyi Taw has stepped up its efforts to curb corruption by empowering the anti-graft body and reaching out to the private sector. Yet, the announcement from the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration (DICA) has created confusion among businesses. Crucially, there are still no criminal liability for offering bribes and no effective regulations on […]

Why Facebook is losing the war on hate speech in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar – In April, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told U.S. senators that the social media site was hiring dozens more Burmese speakers to review hate speech posted in Myanmar. The situation was dire. Some 700,000 members of the Rohingya community had recently fled the country amid a military crackdown and ethnic violence. In March, […]

Far from a ‘debt trap’, China’s belt and road allows countries like Myanmar to leapfrog poverty

Andre Wheeler says Western critics overlook the holistic and long-term benefits that China’s multilateral infrastructure investment programme brings to countries like Myanmar. What’s more, they aren’t offering any alternatives A plethora of articles have discussed the risks associated with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The discussion is often portrayed within a “winners versus losers” framework, […]

Vietnam, Myanmar look towards 1 bln USD in two-way trade

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and State Counselor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi agreed to further deepen bilateral trade and investment on win-win basis towards achieving 1 billion USD or higher in two-way trade during their talks in Hanoi on April 19. The talks took place right after the welcome ceremony […]